I nearly rode over a Tiger Snake today. This animal is one of the world’s top ten most venomous snakes. It was warming itself in a patch of sunlight, its shiny back scales functioning perfectly as mini solar panels. I was on a gentle incline so moving at a moderate pace. It didn’t have time to react offensively as I rolled past. Instead, it turned and slithered into the bush, perhaps as startled as I was. I stopped and admired it as it disappeared. It was beautiful, about a metre long with a lurid yellow underside. I contemplated my reaction. The second I saw the snake I was genuinely scared. My breathing froze. I’m sure my eyes must have doubled in size. I blurted out a swear word and then, when I registered that it had not behaved in any threatening manner, an exclamation of relief. I wonder whether the speed at which I felt frightened is a sign of an innate fear of snakes. For a moment I felt relieved because my scream was not girly. Then I rode on. I was wary of snakes on the trail for about thirty seconds before I relaxed and forgot all about my encounter, once again immersed in my ride through the jarrah forest. The first half of the day was difficult. I couldn’t ride up some of the steeper sections of rough single-track. Instead, I got a full body workout as I pushed my laden bike, wedging my shoulder behind the saddle for extra leverage. The weather was perfect: clear blue sky with not a cloud to be seen, warm but not hot, slight breeze. By the end of the day I was in Collie and free from five days of grime, thanks to a hot shower.

Day 40 (pic)

I always feel at home in jarrah forest

Accommodation $ Backpacker room (Colliefields Hotel)
Distance ridden today 50.45km
Average cycling speed 11.3kph
Total distance ridden 1,957km